DRCLAS Newsletter, Spring 2016 - View this email in your browser

Harvard in Latin America / 
Latin America at Harvard

Featured News â€¢ Spring 2016

An Arts-filled Spring @ DRCLAS

The arts took center stage this spring at DRCLAS. In March, Raúl Zurita, Chile’s renowned poet and Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor, explored the trajectory of his works through a bilingual poetry reading and lecture. That same month, DRCLAS launched the new Arts and Sciences Workshop series, which is chaired and moderated by Romance Languages and Literatures Professor Mariano Siskind.

In April, DRCLAS, in collaboration with Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), organized the sixth iteration of the DRCLAS Spring Concert, which featured Grammy award-winner and pianist to the late Astor Piazzola, Pablo Ziegler, who was accompanied on the guitar by special guest, Claudio Ragazzi. In addition to the concert, and as part of the ARTS@DRCLAS Graduate Student Speaker Series, Mr. Ziegler gave a lecture demonstration and a master class to undergraduate students. That same month, Ana Tijoux, famous Chilean hip-hop singer and fighter for international social justice, gave a short acoustic performance and participated in a discussion with the Harvard community and the general public. The event was organized by the Harvard College Office for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and co-sponsored by DRCLAS and a myriad of Harvard groups and organizations.

Harvard's Vice-Provost for International Affairs Visits Peru and Brazil

From left: Mark C. Elliot, Vice Provost for International Affairs; Tony Custer, DRCLAS Advisory Committee Chair; Víctor Marroquín (LLM '93), Harvard Club of Peru President

As part of his mission to advance Harvard's international academic initiatives and extend the University's global reach, Mark C. Elliott, Harvard’s new Vice Provost for International Affairs and Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History, visited Peru and Brazil in March. While in Lima, he met with DRCLAS Advisory Committee Chair, Tony Custer, local leaders, Harvard alumni and the academic community. During his visit, Professor Elliott also provided a brief Harvard University update at a reception honoring Edward Barclay Ricketts MRP '63, who was awarded Peru's 2016 Harvard University Architectural Achievement Award. In Brazil, he attended a meeting of the Brazil Office Advisory Group to discuss potential projects and collaborations with Harvard affiliates, and learn about various Harvard initiatives in the region, including Harvard’s research on early childhood development and ways to use research to leverage public policy.

Symbolic Reparations in Colombia

From left: Raúl Zurita, Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor; Doris Sommer, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies; Antanas Mockus, former mayor of the city of Bogotá

Antanas Mockus, former mayor of the city of Bogotá and former Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor at Harvard, and Marco Abarca, human rights researcher, visited Harvard to lead a discussion on symbolic reparations in Colombia, as the country moves forward in the peace process. Scholars from various local universities participated in this closed event, which was organized by Cultural Agents, DRCLAS, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

2016 Colombia and Brazil Student-led Conferences

In late April, the Colombian Student Associations at Harvard, MIT, Boston University, and Tufts organized the 2016 Colombian Conference, with support from DRCLAS. In its fourth year, the conference focused on Colombia's local reality as connected to global trends, seeking to bring visibility to some issues of current relevance and foster open, critical and interdisciplinary dialogue between stakeholders, scholars, students, and the general public. That same month, with support from DRCLAS, the Brazil Student Associations at Harvard and MIT organized the 2016 Brazil Conference, which aimed to build a global space to discuss Brazil’s future and its role in the world. In its second year, the conference served as an opportunity to develop closer relationships between entrepreneurs, academics, politicians and all those who will have a fundamental role in the construction of Brazil’s future in four different areas: People, Imagination, Earth, and Foundations. 

Mexico Debates Legalization of Marijuana 

In April, the DRCLAS Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean Office organized an educational panel on the current discourse and recent developments surrounding marijuana legalization in Mexico. Former Harvard alumni, Armando Santacruz (MBA ‘87), Juan Francisco Torres Landa (LL.M. ‘90), Álvaro Santos (LL.M. ’00, S.J.D. ’08), along with Senator Angélica de la Peña, spoke to attendees about the legal process and theory behind the Mexican Supreme Court ruling in November 2015, which allowed 4 people in the country (2 of them Harvard alumni and speakers at this event) to grow, harvest, and consume marijuana. The panel discussed the proceedings that led to this ruling, as well as potential benefits of the government moving from prohibition of cannabis to regulation of the marijuana market in terms of reducing violence, drug trafficking, rates of imprisonment, and the social stigma associated with illegal drug trade. This issue was recently written about in Harvard Magazine.

Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas

Charles Waldheim, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Office for Urbanization

In March, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, in collaboration with ARTS@DRCLAS and local universities and institutions, organized three symposia in South America. Held in Medellin, Colombia, Santiago, Chile, and Brasilia, Brazil, they served as an opportunity to discuss the topic of Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas. As part of an ongoing long-term project led by Charles Waldheim, Professor and Director of the Office for Urbanization, the three symposia convened a series of discussions on the potentials for landscape as a medium of urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts of Latin American cities.

Harvard-Brazil Cities Initiative

Over the last couple of months, the Brazil Office has worked to further develop its Harvard-Brazil Cities Initiative. This initiative's recent activities include the Landscape as Urbanism symposium in Brasília with Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) Professor Charles Waldheim, the conference and exhibition on Ecological Urbanism in Curitiba with GSD Professor Gareth Doherty, the workshop in Community Violence in São Paulo with Harvard Kennedy School Researcher Thomas Abt, and the launch of the Cities Research Fund to support Harvard faculty and students research in or involving Brazil. 

Featured Press Coverage
Reinforcement for Harvard-Brazil bridge
Harvard University announced that the Lemann Foundation will expand financial aid to undergraduate and graduate students from Brazil, support visiting faculty, and launch the Brazil Research Fund for cross-disciplinary scholarship related to the world’s fifth-largest country. Read more here.
TDM149DA Tangoes to a Nuevo Beat
Held every Thursday afternoon in Lowell Lecture Hall, Theater, Dance, and Media 149DA: “Argentine Tango: Culture, Music, and the Dance” is one of many classes offered for the first time this year in the newly established Theater, Dance, and Media concentration. Read more here.
For Ana Tijoux, hip-hop is home
France-born Chilean found her place in her music. Growing up, Ana Tijoux didn’t know where to call home. As the France-born-and-bred daughter of Chilean parents living in political exile, she felt conflicted about her identity — until she found hip-hop. Read more here.
Vice-Provost for International Affairs visits Brazil and Peru
Mark C. Elliott is well known across the University for his scholarship in Chinese history. He was appointed the director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies in 2013 and even accompanied University President Drew G. Faust on her trip to Beijing last year. Read more here.
Spring 2016 Issue
Read the Spring 2016 issue of ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America on El Salvador.
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